The News Is Bleak and Then It Gets Worse
February 24, 2016 – Gregory Carroll, PhD
Cancer Stress: Suggestions From a Breast Cancer Survivor
February 23, 2016 – Barbara Tako
On Solidarity in Illness and in Health: If We Must Suffer, Let's Suffer Together
February 19, 2016 – Samira Rajabi
When it Comes to Breast Cancer, I Run for Life
February 18, 2016 – Jamie Holloway, PhD
On Being a Rebel and Going Against Medical Advice
February 17, 2016 – Bonnie Annis
Chemo Day 2: The Caregivers
February 17, 2016 – Edward McClain
Colon Cancer and Lynch Syndrome: Know Your Risks
February 16, 2016 – Georgia Hurst
Coping With Cancer Pain
February 16, 2016 – Khevin Barnes
When Cancer Invites Random Acts of Kindness
February 15, 2016 – Felicia Mitchell
Cancer Can Be Finite: Giving Hope at Diagnosis
February 15, 2016 – Barbara Tako

The PET Scan Tick-Tock: Waiting for the News

A slow-motion ride with high-tech images.
PUBLISHED February 12, 2016
As a psychologist specializing in clinician-patient communication, Greg has worn a few hats: university professor, associate dean, foundation executive and independent consultant. Diagnosed in January 2014 with high-grade carcinoma of the head and neck, he underwent extensive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment over the next five months. He and his wife Suzanne reside in Connecticut and are profoundly grateful to all the oncology professionals, staff and survivors who treat and support them.
Better late than never
Better early than late
Better prompt than early
So I just have to wait

Time changes rhythm
It goes fast and slow
What is the verdict?
Do I want to know?

My PET scans are lengthy
They go on forever
But the long night after
Is slower than never

My mind keeps spinning
The hour gets late
The nerves, the worries
The fears aggregate
 
The day’s little fragments
Feeling like a flashback
Playing back the same scenes
Can’t escape the sound track
 
So what did they mean?
Retake that one then
Another tumor
Inside me again?

Oh, I’m sorry 'bout that
There’s one scan that’s blurry
So we'll try it again

Don’t worry ... don't worry.

Next day I find out
The scans are all clean
Due back in four months
I get past the screen

I’m elated of course
As the tensions subside
Yet the fear lingers on
In the dark, deep inside

There’s no evidence
That shows new disease
But abnormal cells
Could hide there with ease

Better late than never
Better early than late
Better prompt than early
Up ahead, the next gate



Author’s note: I have great respect for other patients, their families and clinicians, who cope with the presence or spread of cancer. I based this poem on a composite of my own personal experience thus far and nothing more. What has your experience been like?
Continue the conversation on CURE’s forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the General Discussions CURE discussion group.

Related Articles

1
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!
×

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In